Lawrence Peter Berra was one of the greatest baseball players that ever lived.
“Yogi” Berra was one of the greatest philosophers whose words will live forever.
The Yankees’ Hall-of-Fame catcher died at age 90 Wednesday morning after an on-field career highlighted by three American League MVPs, 18 All-Star Appearances, 13 World Series rings and spot on baseball’s All-Century Team. But his legacy, of course, isn’t complete without a laugh.
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Berra became a cultural icon by always being quick. Er, was it slow? Safe to say he looked at life – and expressed his view of it – a tad differently than the rest of us. Somehow most of what he said was totally coherent, at least part of the time.
Yogi Berra is one of the few reasons not to hate the New York Yankees. So in tribute, let’s apply some of his most infamous words of wisdom to this year’s Rangers:
“The lousy teams are good this year” – The Rangers were projected for 76.5 wins and the Astros are, well, the Astros. One of them will win the AL West.
“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” – A two-game lead with 12 to play, including three in Houston this weekend. Yogi’s right on the money.
“It’s déjà vu all over again” – The Rangers bolster their playoff chances by trading for an elite lefty at the deadline. Cliff Lee (2010), meet Cole Hamels (2015). And, wait, that looks like Josh Hamilton?!
“The future ain’t what it used to be” – No matter how this season’s turns out, it will be far different than when the Rangers were counting on Jurickson Profar and Yu Darvish.
“You can observe a lot by watching” – Part of Shin-Soo Choo’s bounce-back season? 68 walks, good for 19th in all of baseball.
“Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded” – Despite the surprisingly successful season, the Rangers are on pace for their lowest home attendance since 2009.
“It gets late early out here” – That’s the luxury of having a reliable closer like Shawn Tolleson.
“It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility” – After last season, no one associated with the Rangers was guilty of overconfidence.
“Baseball is 90-percent mental, the other half is physical” – The Rangers obviously have the talent, but at this point it’d be silly to totally disregard manager Jeff Banister’s “Never Ever Quit” mantra.
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it” – Um, sorry. This one has me – and everyone else – stumped. Unless of course, that’s it. Yogi was simply giving directions to his house and, sure enough, his house was in the middle of a circle street with two entrances off the same, feeder street. I got it!
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.